SEATTLE - Always looking to challenge the nation's best, Washington Head Coach Joanne Bowers has assembled another top-notch schedule for the 2013-14 season. The schedule remains tentative and subject to change, however the GymDawgs are looking to go up against four teams that reached nationals this past spring, a goal that the Huskies will strive for themselves in 2014.
"I'm always trying to get the best competition we possibly can during the season," said Bowers. "With this schedule we have great home events and great trips so we should be very prepared for the postseason, and that's the biggest goal."
Two fan-friendly events get the team set for the season. The annual "Meet the GymDawgs" night is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 19 in the Husky training facility. Then the Huskies will get out on the Alaska Airlines Arena main floor for the first time with the Purple and Gold Intrasquad Meet on Nov. 25.
The regular season then kicks off with a big test right from the get-go, as Minnesota visits on Jan. 13 for a 7 p.m. meet. The Golden Gophers made it to nationals last season and will want to build on that momentum.
"Looking at Minnesota, they're a much-improved program coming off an appearance at nationals, so we know we need to be ready," Bowers said. "It's going to start right off with the tough competition we love."
A quad-meet with Arizona State, San Jose State, and UC Davis will be followed by a crosstown trip to Seattle Pacific to close January. The Huskies visit the McKale Center in Tucson to face Arizona on Feb. 1, then come home to face two more national qualifiers in Stanford and UCLA back-to-back on Feb. 8 and 14.
A meet at Cal on Feb. 23 will give UW a chance to familiarize itself with the Haas Pavilion gym that will host this year's Pac-12 Championships. Two more road trips follow, both to Utah, to face the Utes on Feb. 28 and the BYU Cougars on Mar. 7. Utah is the fourth nationals qualifier the Huskies will face before the postseason.
Senior Night will be Mar. 14 as Oregon State and Seattle Pacific come to Alaska Airlines Arena to close the regular season. From there it's back to Berkeley for Pac-12s on Mar. 22.
The season will all point towards the NCAA Regionals, which Washington gets to host once again this season on Apr. 6. Bowers knows that hosting Regionals is a great opportunity that her team can take advantage of.
"Hosting Regionals will be an advantage to our program because after Pac-12s we know right where we're going to be. We know we'll be with our home crowd, on our equipment, sleeping in our own beds," said Bowers. "So we want to take advantage of that this year, and we're very excited that our administration has helped us bring that meet back to the University of Washington."
2013-14 Washington Gymnastics Schedule (Tentative; Subject To Change)
Oct. 19 - Meet The GymDawgs - 7 p.m. - Gymnastics Training Facility
Nov. 25 - Purple and Gold Meet - 7 p.m. - Alaska Airlines Arena
Jan. 13 - Minnesota - 7 p.m. - Alaska Airlines Arena
Jan. 18 - Arizona State/San Jose State/UC Davis - 7 p.m. - Alaska Airlines Arena
Jan. 24 - at Seattle Pacific - 7 p.m. - Seattle (Brougham Pavilion)
Feb. 1 - at Arizona - 4 p.m. - Tucson, Ariz.
Feb. 8 - Stanford - 7 p.m. - Alaska Airlines Arena
Feb. 14 - UCLA - 7 p.m. - Alaska Airlines Arena
Feb. 23 - at California/Sacramento State - TBA - Berkeley, Calif.
Feb. 28 - at Utah - 7 p.m. - Salt Lake City
Mar. 7 - at BYU - 6 p.m. - Provo, Utah
Mar. 14 - Oregon State/Seattle Pacific - 7 p.m. - Alaska Airlines Arena
Mar. 22 - Pac-12 Championships - TBA - Berkeley, Calif.
Apr. 6 - NCAA Regionals - TBA - Alaska Airlines Arena
Apr. 19-21 - NCAA Championships - TBA - Birmingham, Ala.